Julian Assange, co-founder of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, reckons that the Internet is the "greatest spying machine the world has ever seen" and is not a technology that necessarily favours the freedom of speech.
Addressing a group of students at Cambridge University, Assange said that the web could allow greater government transparency and better co-operation between activists.
"While the Internet has in some ways an ability to let us know to an unprecedented level what government is doing, and to let us co-operate with each other to hold repressive governments and repressive corporations to account, it is also the greatest spying machine the world has ever seen," the Guardian quoted Assange, as saying.
"It [the web] is not a technology that favours freedom of speech. It is not a technology that favours human rights. It is not a technology that favours civil life. Rather it is a technology that can be used to set up a totalitarian spying regime, the likes of which we have never seen."
"Or, on the other hand, taken by us, taken by activists, and taken by all those who want a different trajectory for the technological world, it can be something we all hope for," he added.
In April 2010, WikiLeaks had published gunsight footage from a Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi civilians and journalists were killed by an Apache helicopter, as 'the Collateral Murder' video.
In July, WikiLeaks released 'Afghan War Diary', a compilation of over 76,900 documents about the war in Afghanistan not previously available for public review.
In October, the group released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the 'Iraq War Logs' in coordination with major commercial media organizations. This allowed every death in Iraq, and across the border in Iran, to be mapped.
In November 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing U.S. State department diplomatic cables. (ANI)